55,000 housing units built under Aquino administration unoccupied due to 'poor construction' - The Daily Sentry

Friday, June 15, 2018

55,000 housing units built under Aquino administration unoccupied due to 'poor construction'

former President Noynoy Aquino while awarding a housing unit to a police beneificary / photo from Inquirer (ctto)

The National Housing Authority (NHA) reported on Thursday that there are about the 55, 000 unoccupied houses built by the previous administration for government workers and poor families.

In an interview with dzMM radio station, NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada said that former President Benigno Aquino 3rd built a total of 72, 000 housing units, but only 18, 000 were occupied.

The NHA official revealed that these houses from Aquino-era remained vacant because these units were “poorly constructed, cramped and far-flung” and some do not have electricity and water facility.

This statement from Escalada came after the notorious urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap or Kadamay stormed a government housing project in Barangay San Isidro Rodriguez, Rizal for soldiers and police beneficiaries.

Members of the Montalban Homeless Association, a chapter of Kadamay forcibly tried to occupy the vacant houses on Wednesday morning in La Solidaridad-Avilon Zoo housing project, that caused tension in the area.

Further, the group said that they already applied for housing units, but the government failed to give them priority.

With the help of the local police, barangay officials and the Homeowners Association, Kadamay failed to take over the empty houses.

Meanwhile, Escalada explained that these vacant units in the area had been awarded already to its intended beneficiaries who went through the application process for socialized housing after the NHA allowed them to merge two units.

“That is practically a violation of law if and when Kadamay members will continue to occupy that without any authority at all,” Escalada said

There were around 700 Kadamay members who stormed and tried to occupy the vacant houses. *

President Rodrigo Duterte have had enough of Kadamay’s habit of occupying government housing projects forcibly.

An angry president said that he would no longer allow this group to have their way after he allowed them to remain in another housing project for uniformed personnel in Pandi, Bulacan last year.

Duterte, in his remarks in Sta.Rosa, Laguna announced that Kadamay members have until Friday noon to vacate the Rodriguez housing project.

Otherwise, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will apply necessary force of the law to prevent them from taking over government housing.

It was also reiterated by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque the president’s warning to the Kadamay group “that they cannot take the law into their own hands.”

“Well, in the past, the President allowed Kadamay to occupy government housing project intended for soldiers in Pandi. But if you will recall, the President said that would be the first and the last,” Roque said in a media conference.

Roque also shared that the president already instructed NHA to explain the idle housing units and when it will be given to its intended beneficiaries.

Kadamay leader earlier said that they were only after asserting their rights to decent housing as stated in a Joint Resolution 2 of Congress, that was signed and approved by senators and congressmen in May.*

On Thursday, NHA said that it was considering filing a case against the urban group Kadamay.
“It is being studied already by our legal department because this is not the first time that they did this,” said Elsie Trinidad, NHA spokesman and resettlement and development services manager.

Trinidad reiterated that Kadamay must follow the application and evaluation process before being awarded of housing units respectively.

“[Kadamay] will be part of the screening process which is also based on the Republic Act (RA) 7279 or the Urban Housing Development Act of 1992,” Trinidad said.

Kadamay group barricading a housing project in Rodriguez, Rizal on Wednesday / photo from PTV news (ctto)
Kadamay group barricading a housing project in Rodriguez, Rizal on Wednesday (ctto)

 Source: Manila Times